3 more days: Oktoberfest continues
Marking its 32nd year, Oktoberfest continues today at the German-American Social Club.
The annual festival, which kicked off last Friday for three days and will run again through Sunday, features a packed lineup of live music and entertainment, including two bands from Germany.
An estimated 36,000 to 40,000 people turnout for the event over the two weekends.
“Basically, we’re about on the same track as last year,” event chairman Stephen Amann said.
The festival will run today from 4 to 11 p.m. It will reopen Saturday from noon to midnight, then Sunday from noon to 8 p.m. A traditional Sunday morning service will not take place this weekend.
Asked about the opening weekend, Amann noted that it did rain Friday night.
“It didn’t discourage the crowd because they came into the big tent,” he said. “It worked out fine.”
Amann estimated that 8,000 to 10,000 people showed up the next day.
“Saturday was probably one of the busiest Saturdays we’ve ever had,” he said.
Amann described Sunday as a “nice break” for the workers.
“Sunday is a nice family day,” he said. “All the little kids with the rides and amusements.”
“It was a very pleasant, steady even crowd,” Amann added.
This year, the German bands are Maselheimer Musikanten and KAWOGL.
“The crowds absolutely love the German bands we have,” he said.
German dancers Andorfer Plattler will also perform this weekend for the first time.
“We have some local bands, too,” Amann said. “We try to make it a community event by having other entertainment in there.”
The other performers include the Cape’s Hafenkapelle and the Manni Daum Trio, The Hipnauticals from Matlacha, Peter Dee from North Fort Myers and Die Lustigen Almdudler from New York.
There will be three stages and two dance floors.
The festival will feature traditional German fare for purchase, including bratwurst, potato pancakes, schnitzel, leberkaese, schweinhaxen, sausage platters, sauerbraten, dumplings, noodles and more.
“All of our products – the club’s – are authentic German products,” he said.
Bratwurst, schweinhaxen and schnitzel are big sellers, along with the potato pancakes.
“We go through 110 cases of potatoes, at 50 pounds per, through both weekends,” Amann said.
As for German beer, Schofferhofer and several varieties of Warsteiner will be available.
“The biggest seller there is Warsteiner,” he said.
There is also Yuengling, Miller, Miller Lite, Coors, Samuel Adams and Samuel Adams Octoberfest.
“As of Sunday, we probably went through about 400 kegs,” Amann said.
Other food options include pizza, gyros, burgers, hot dogs, popcorn, ice cream and more.
For the younger attendees, there will be a carnival area with rides and games.
“We have carnival rides, but they’re mostly for the smaller kids,” he said.
Dozens of vendors and exhibitors will be set up on site.
“There’s anything from replacement windows, mattresses and hot tubs, to authentic German clothing and German steins,” Amann said.
During the festival, two pairs of roundtrip tickets to Germany are raffled off. With each paid entry, attendees have a shot at winning them. The first pair was raffled off during opening weekend.
He noted that the second drawing will be held Sunday at 6 p.m.
“They have to be present to win,” Amann said.
Tickets are $6 at the gate; children 12 and under are free.
Free on-site parking is available.
Organizers urged the community to come out and enjoy the festival.
“It’s the last one until next year,” he said.
For information, visit www.capecoraloktoberfest.com or call 239-283-1400.
The German-American Social Club is at 2101 S.W. Pine Island Road.